Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Thursday, October 21, 2004


1993 U.S. National Bronze Medallist and 1993 U.S. Olympic Festival Champion Michael Chack chose to retire from eligible skating after the 1999 season.

“I felt that I had given the sport all I possibly could and I just wasn't happy anymore with the training and most of all, with my results in competition,” he explains five years later. “The desire was there -- boy was it ever! -- but injury and self-doubt kept creeping in there. Plus, I was getting older and our new champions were considerably younger. The sort of professional career that I looked forward to was competing as a pro and combining my technical ability with artistry, without the eight triple jumps and quads. I wanted to perform in shows and travel for a while. What I got was better than I expected. (Yes, sure I wish there were pro events, but there really are none and that has to change in our professional sport). But I've joined a great company of "Holiday On Ice" and was fortunate enough to be traveling throughout Europe, South America, and Central America for the past five years. I'm lucky because it really is a figure skaters' show. (1980 Olympic Champion) Robin Cousins is the main choreographer, and he was one of my choreographers when I was competing. It's fun to work with him and many others on the professional side, and build friendships. I have enjoyed this side of my skating career so much and just love what I do. I have become a better all around skater from it.”

Michael tours with “Holiday on Ice” anywhere from four to eight months out of the year, and the rest of the time, he considers New York City home.

“When off the ice,” Michael exhales, “I just want to breathe and feel part of my community. I try to choreograph when I’m home, and to keep building my mind artistically. When I am on a break from tour, it's only for about four to five weeks where I just try to keep in shape and visit family and friends.”

As for those who wonder if, because they no longer see him on television, he is “still in skating,” Michael replies, “Yes, I'm still in the skating world. It just happens to be the European skating world. I'm just loving the sport again after a few tough years of thinking of giving up. I feel that I have found the complete skater in myself that all artists strive to find. I'm very happy and content. I plan to perform as long as I love it and the body can do it.”

Although, to be fair, if anyone is used to not being seen on television, it is Michael Chack. In fact, after his 1993 Bronze medal winning performance at Nationals wasn’t shown during the ABC telecast, the word “Chack” has come to mean: “being cut from a broadcast!”

“It makes me feel good,” Michael swears, “That I personally contributed something to the sport. It may have been an unfair thing, but still I created it! At least it means I skated a good performance!”

Coming Tuesday, October 26: American Open Champion Scott Williams!


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